February 12, 2008

One word to sum it all up.

A lot of learning in medicine teeters upon this point of tragedy and education. After all, it is only through the sick misfortune of others that we learn our craft. It ties me up inside to be excited when I see someone with a rare disease that I learned about only a few days before... or to finally understand the mechanism of a medication that will limit someone's lifestyle for many years to come. The cost of these things is often times too much to bear on the cold side of the stethoscope, yet they can be treated so cavalierly from an objective, learning standpoint.

After playing around with a few words with a friend, contemplating "tragimarkable," "remorsexciting"... I settled on my vocab word to sum it all up.

Terrible and Terrific encompass both ends of the sad/exciting spectrum of medicine into a single word. It has the additional advantage in colloquial use by emphasizing different parts of the word.

I think this word is very versatile and it will serve me well. :) IIRC, graham @ overmymedbody! had a similar idea, but I can't for the life of me remember what his word was.

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